The first Democrat to officially enter the 2022 governor's race is now the first to end his campaign.
Former state Sen. Benjamin Downing dropped out of the race Tuesday, saying his campaign does "not have the financial resources to continue."
"While it's painful to admit, that reality has brought this chapter to a close," the East Boston Democrat said in a statement. "Just as my work and my responsibility as a citizen did not end when I term limited myself in the Senate, the work of this campaign does not end today. Though my name will not be on the ballot next year, I will keep working for the principles that defined this campaign."
Downing jumped into the race in February 2021, when Harvard professor Danielle Allen was still exploring a run and Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz had not yet declared her candidacy. His decision comes as Democrats are still waiting for Attorney General Maura Healey to disclose her 2022 plans and with the potential for other candidates to emerge after Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced earlier this month that they will not run next year.
A critic of Baker and of the pace of action from the state Legislature, Downing represented a Western Massachusetts district in the state Senate for 10 years, becoming the chamber's point person on clean power before opting not to seek a sixth term in 2016.
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